Optimist, pessimist—or realist?

Don't settle for a half-empty or half-full glass of water.

One morning, a friend told my wife that she is an optimist. Laughing, she pleaded guilty as charged. Later, she and I had a lively conversation on optimism and pessimism in relation to spiritual truth.

It occurred to us that in one sense optimism and pessimism are two sides of the same coin. Optimism, when based on material evidence to determine how much good, if any, is in our lives, is the flip side of pessimism. We're familiar with the common test of perspective, "Is the glass of water half full or half empty?" Although seeing the glass as half full is more positive than seeing it as half empty, either choice may leave God, omnipotent good, out of the picture. Metaphorically speaking, it's the size and shape of the glass that we ought to be questioning.

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